Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Posted January 01, 2015

New Year's is the almost-perfect holiday (Christmas takes the blue ribbon). It's a combination of reflecting, celebrating or possibly just being glad of getting rid of the old year -- while at the same time looking forward to the potential and possibilities of the year to come. It's the bridge between the past and present, where what has been done is over -- but the future still looks bright, if a bit hazy.

Posted December 25, 2014

Almost four decades ago, when I was in Mrs. Carmichael's Sunday School class, I memorized Luke Chapter 2, (the King James version of course). It took hours of practice and study, but the words still come when prompted by the line before.

Posted December 18, 2014

This is my second Christmas season without my mother, and so far it's been harder than the first. I had known that the first year would be hard, and all I really cared about was surviving it.

Posted December 11, 2014

We all know people who believe that they know more than we do, who look down on us and believe that they are better than we are. They believe they are smarter than the rest of us, and if they have control, then they can control the outcome and make whatever it is better. This is the same belief that led the U.S.S.R. into centralized planning and control. We all know what happened to the Soviet Union.

Posted December 04, 2014

December, a time for choral concerts, band performances, orchestra recitals, cocktail parties, holiday markets, family gatherings and final exams. Almost everyone is overbooked and overworked, exhausted and running on empty. Busy schedules lead to being away from home one night after the other, to the detriment of family dinners, early bedtimes and balanced meals.

Posted November 27, 2014

This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent. It is the season that marks the expectation, the waiting and the preparation for Christmas, the celebration of Christ's birth.

Posted November 20, 2014

Family, friends, bountiful feasts and football are at the forefront of our minds rather than cocktail parties and gifts. Think of it as a time to pause and give thanks before the whirlwind of December.

Posted November 13, 2014

In the week following the shellacking of his party in the midterm elections, one might think that President Barack Obama would be conciliatory and humble. Instead, he has continued to be audacious -- but with arrogance rather than hope.

Posted November 06, 2014

It is real-life, high-stakes drama. In the 1970s, it was volunteers who would call in the vote tallies from the precincts. They would be written on the blackboard and the totals calculated as the votes were called in.

Posted October 30, 2014

Prognosticators are predicting a Republican takeover of the United States Senate, and a pickup of a few seats in the House of Representatives. Driven in large part by the unpopularity of President Barack Obama (latest Gallup poll 42 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove of Obama), this potential change in control provides both an opportunity and a risk for Republicans.

Posted October 23, 2014

My mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer in the mid-1970s, when I was in grammar school. Her goal, at that time, was to stay alive to see my older sister Kathy and me graduate from high school. She neither dwelled on the disease, nor on why she was stricken with it, but instead focused on getting rid of the cancer and living for her two daughters.

Posted October 16, 2014

While new and novel might be exciting, routine and habit can help create a structure and framework for success. From eating breakfast, brushing our teeth or exercising every day, much of our lives are driven by routine. This reliance on routine behavior can startle us when we are driving and find ourselves not at our planned destination, but at our routine destination.

Posted October 09, 2014

Ever since the 1976 election, I've understood the importance of voter turnout. My father was running for United States Congress in rural Georgia, having lost in 1974.

Posted October 02, 2014

The director of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, was questioned this past Tuesday by members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding lapses in Secret Service Performance. The hearing focused primarily on an incident that took place on September 19. Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, allegedly jumped the White House fence, ran across the White House lawn, ran up a flight of stairs and through the North Portico door. He then allegedly entered the entrance hall, turned left and headed into the East Room, where he was tackled and subdued. A knife was allegedly found in his possession.

Posted September 25, 2014

With just under six weeks to the Nov. 4 Election Day, the pressure is on. With a Democratic sitting president with a low 44 percent approval rating, many Republican races across the nation are being run by tying the Democratic candidate to the president. In many cases, this might indeed create distaste for the Democratic candidate by the voters and lead to a Republican victory. But, with no clear path forward, who is to say that the voters won't be just as disgruntled in a few years with Republicans?

Posted September 18, 2014

As a life-long, occasionally conscripted political volunteer, I've encountered my share of smells along the political way. Fried chicken in the summer at church picnics and BBQ on Fourth of July in Newnan, Georgia, (with the argument about which BBQ was better -- Melear's or Sprayberry's). Then there was the smell of glue from the backs of the envelopes we were sending. (Yes, if there are enough freshly licked envelopes you can smell the sticky, sweet smell of the glue).

Posted September 04, 2014

What a difference a year makes. Last September, the Obama administration and the media were cheering happenstance as victory. A quick review of last year's events: the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians, tough talk by President Barack Obama, an administration push for a congressional vote for use of force, Secretary of State John Kerry's off-the-cuff remark regarding Syrian giving up chemical weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin leveraging the remark into action, the Obama administration claiming a great solution.

Posted August 28, 2014

My first paying job was cleaning the bathrooms at the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Georgia, where I was a member.

Posted August 21, 2014

While we might like to think that voters research the issues, review the candidates, and then vote for the candidate that best reflects their views; the reality, based on political science research, is much different.

Posted August 14, 2014

Maybe it's the fact that both my parents were teachers when I was growing up, or that I was a studious, serious child, but I've always loved going back to school in the fall.